Sightseers and Kill List helmer Ben Wheatley is newly on board to direct Jeremy Thomas’ long-gestating JG Ballard adaptation High Rise, reports ScreenDaily.
Kill List and A Field in England writer Amy Jump has written the script with Film4 on board as backers and HanWay handling international sales.
Thomas and Wheatley are lining up a 2014 UK shoot for the ‘faithful’ adaptation of Ballard’s unnerving 1975 novel about life in a modern tower block spiralling out of control.
“Set in a luxury high-rise building, the book follows a group of affluent tenants hell-bent on an orgy of destruction. Cocktail parties degenerate into marauding attacks on ‘enemy’ floors and the once-luxurious amenities become an arena for technological mayhem.
Human society slips into violent reverse as the inhabitants of the ultra-modern high-rise, driven by primal urges, recreate a world ruled by the laws of the jungle.“
The satire is a long-time passion project for Thomas, who was a friend of iconic writer Ballard, who died in 2009.
Splice director Vincenzo Natali had long been attached to direct his and Richard Stanley’s adaptation of the book but when the rights for the project recently lapsed Thomas decided to take the film in another direction. Thomas nearly made the film in the late 1970s, with Nicolas Roeg directing.